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How much more can go wrong?


klc106
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Hi all, apologies for the very long post but had to vent somewhere!

 

So, in my team there is myself as manager, an unqualified (training) member of staff and a 3rd member of staff who is qualified. We are a very small setting with only 14 children on roll and I currently do not take any money from the business and neither does the unqualified member of staff as she volunteers.

 

So, in November I had to dismiss my level 3 member of staff due to gross misconduct and putting children at risk. I then had to use supply cover for 7 days whilst I trialled and recruited a new person. This supply cover cost us around £750!

 

The applicants for the post were very few and many were unqualified. It came down to a parent who I couldn't get references for and another young girl of 18 (level 2 qualified) who was brilliant on her trial day, interview and her reference from another pre-school was brilliant too. I recruited her on 1st Dec on a temporary contract until Easter.

 

This young girl turned out to cause us a few issues such as hygiene and paperwork but we accepted she was young and still needed to learn and tried to help her. Then we have an incident where we notice a child is missing and it turned out this member of staff had taken her upstairs with her to do the washing up without telling any of us. I discussed this with her at length and the reasons why this is not acceptable.

 

Then I got the phone call on 11th Jan to say ofsted was coming to inspect us the next day. I rang this member of staff and told her this and we went over things like safeguarding, planning etc. I also went through it again as a team the morning of the inspection.

 

However, this member of staff completely sabotaged the whole inspection by stating she knew nothing about safeguarding, that we did no planning or observation and that we sat and did nothing! She also didn't talk to the children during the day, left the room regularly to use the toilet without letting us know so we could watch the doors as we are in a shared building and then to top it off she gave our youngest child (20months) a pair of scissors and walked away!

 

So... we received an inadequate rating. I was horrified and ready to give up immediately. The inspector was not willing to listen to any explanations and a complaint has been put in regarding her professionalism but that's a whole different story! Anyway, I spoke to this staff member the next day and asked why she did what she did and her answer was "I don't really know, I know the answers but didn't really want to talk!" and in regards to why she gave the child scissors she said "I know I did and then I walked off but I don't know why". She was dismissed following this.

Now we have been using supply cover again since and money is slowing running out. We cannot seem to find anyone suitable for the post (18hrs per week term time only) and I am slowly going mad and don't know what I am going to do. The children seem to have gone crazy, not listening and breaking things and I feel this is due to all the staff changes and we are trying to keep things as stable as possible.

 

Any advice is welcome but just wanted to get it out there! I am going mad!!! :wacko:

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Thanks all. I was and am very angry at what she did as it ruined our great ofsted record and her replies left me speechless. I have also had to report her to LADO due to a safeguarding concern! How she got qualified and such a good reference i will never understand.

 

i have been in touch with the local college but no luck unfortunately :(

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Thanks all. I was and am very angry at what she did as it ruined our great ofsted record and her replies left me speechless. I have also had to report her to LADO due to a safeguarding concern! How she got qualified and such a good reference i will never understand.

 

i have been in touch with the local college but no luck unfortunately :(

Hmm can we trust references properly - could just have been a way to get rid of her!! Did you actually speak to the other nursery they may have said something off the record, but felt they couldn't write it. i know all that practice is wrong, but sometimes you just have to wonder.

 

Klc,you have had such a bad run lately, it's difficult to know where to turn to next. Sending every good vibe I can muster up for you

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OMG!! This is something from a really bad nightmare! What a little BEEEEEEP..

 

That is really unfair and not justified in my opinion! We employ people and then need to see how they go.. it is always a risk but what can we do about it?! She passed her references etc.. as mentioned, so this is just crazy!

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Hmm can we trust references properly - could just have been a way to get rid of her!! Did you actually speak to the other nursery they may have said something off the record, but felt they couldn't write it. i know all that practice is wrong, but sometimes you just have to wonder.

 

Klc,you have had such a bad run lately, it's difficult to know where to turn to next. Sending every good vibe I can muster up for you

I agree with Panders and this same thing actually happened to me a couple of years ago - good written reference but after approx 6 months the staff members work ethic disappeared and her ability to drag everybody down was awful - I then found out that she was the same at her former place of work and the staff were relieved when she applied and got our job!!!

Needless to say it was a VERY trying few years and when she eventually moved on I was honest on the reference form that was sent me saying I wouldn't re-employ and gave my reasons, she was still given the job though.

 

I have had 2 people in the past when I've had references and I've queried things with interviewees they've just said that their manager doesn't like them and that's why they are looking for a new job - it's hard as that can happen it doesn't mean they aren't going to be great for you - it's a minefield :(

 

Good luck KLC you've worked so hard over the years, you deserve better.

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If you were graded 'inadequate', I believe you should receive a help from your local council now. The next follow up inspection should take place within 6 month, so your council should help you to improve things. Have you spoken to them? I also know that some councils reserve money to support such settings, so they might be able to assist you in this crisis.

 

I know how difficult it is to find a good practitioner. I also run a small setting and also have only 14 children on roll. I can consider myself lucky as after a few hiccups I believe I managed to create a team where we trust each over, know about each other's strengths and weaknesses and learned to work collaboratively.

 

I think next time I need to employ someone, I will need to scrutinise not only their knowledge of EYFS and safeguarding but also their skills to write, read, manners, common scene, hygiene, punctuality, ability to work under stress, driving skills, and much more.

 

Please do not be disheartened. I also have some grey days when I want to give up. Probably getting stuff from Freecycle and selling it on eBay would give me more free time and higher income. In the past 3 years I have attending 38 trainings and courses (one of which was EYT) and not a single one I left feeling that I am doing a good job. Each one begins with "You are not doing enough, you can do better, you can do more". I do not think there is any other profession that is scrutinised as much as ours.

 

If you need a list of suggested questions to ask at the job interview, please pm me and I will dig my folders to find any possible information to help you.

 

Is you setting a part of Collaboration? Maybe other local settings can help you? Contact them and ask if they have a list of bank staff. We always think that other settings will not help us, but majority of us are very supportive and will be happy to help you in this situation.

 

xxx

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If you were graded 'inadequate', I believe you should receive a help from your local council now. The next follow up inspection should take place within 6 month, so your council should help you to improve things. Have you spoken to them? I also know that some councils reserve money to support such settings, so they might be able to assist you in this crisis.

 

I know how difficult it is to find a good practitioner. I also run a small setting and also have only 14 children on roll. I can consider myself lucky as after a few hiccups I believe I managed to create a team where we trust each over, know about each other's strengths and weaknesses and learned to work collaboratively.

 

I think next time I need to employ someone, I will need to scrutinise not only their knowledge of EYFS and safeguarding but also their skills to write, read, manners, common scene, hygiene, punctuality, ability to work under stress, driving skills, and much more.

 

Please do not be disheartened. I also have some grey days when I want to give up. Probably getting stuff from Freecycle and selling it on eBay would give me more free time and higher income. In the past 3 years I have attending 38 trainings and courses (one of which was EYT) and not a single one I left feeling that I am doing a good job. Each one begins with "You are not doing enough, you can do better, you can do more". I do not think there is any other profession that is scrutinised as much as ours.

 

If you need a list of suggested questions to ask at the job interview, please pm me and I will dig my folders to find any possible information to help you.

 

Is you setting a part of Collaboration? Maybe other local settings can help you? Contact them and ask if they have a list of bank staff. We always think that other settings will not help us, but majority of us are very supportive and will be happy to help you in this situation.

 

xxx

Oksana 1975 I could not agree with you more!

 

I set up our nursery some 20 years ago and have had my fingers burned numerous times with new staff (luckily as you get more mature and experienced you do start to see more about people between the excellent interviews given!)

I have a small team of 9 some have been here since opening and the rest have come along as students who proved their worth. I have had a couple in the past who have really upset the team - stirring things up and other unpleasant things I won't go into. Both left one realised that the grass wasn't greener and tried to return but I did not take them back.

 

I can particularly relate to your attending CPD training! I don't know what it is but I find the majority of them quite patronising often treating us like we are so useless we couldn't possibly know how to write a Risk assessment or other!

 

You are so right I do not know of any other profession that tells us how useless we are because obviously if we were any good we would surely be told?! How much has EY changed over the last 20 odd years? and they are still medalling and changing things at the drop of a hat because some "think tank" person has advised them.

 

They are always wanting more out of EY staff for a pittance pay as they play on our emotions and good will rather like nurses. It is as you say "do more" Also my biggest bugbear is I or another member of staff having just worked from 7am - 6.30pm (probably leaving at nearer 7pm due to a parent being held up at work, then expected to go to a training or network event till 9pm!!!!!!??????

 

I agree we all need to be kept up to date with training etc but let's face it there are not many settings who can afford to release a member of staff during the day?

 

Hey ho off we go on yet another EY roundabout ride !

 

I am off to apply to a well known supermarket where I can go in do my job and leave on time and actually have a life!!

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Oh klc - what a complete and utter nightmare for you :(

 

What a 'destructive' young lady........

 

Neither comment is at all helpful i know - just didn't want to 'read and run'.

 

Are you getting help from your LA - I do hope so

 

Sending you a huge virtual hug........

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Thank you for all your kind words and support :1b

 

I have not heard anything from our improvement advisor yet but the inspector said that ofsted will inform them so they should be in touch. I got a reply from the complaints department today saying the report will still be published but they will investigate the complaint. We have got a great bunch of parents who are as shocked as we are about what happened.

 

Thank you again, it's lovely to have people understand what I mean rather than people pretending they do haha.

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staffing is a huge problem for us too!!!!

We need to find a new manager and a level 3. We are only a small setting we have a waiting list and for once we are going to be fine children wise in Sep.

We have been advertising but no luck at mo.

Wish i had the guts to take it on but the responsibility and paperwork scares the life out of me.

EY has changed so much over the last 25 yrs and in alot of ways not for the best.

At least the children and their parents seem happy It is so scary how one bad apple!!! can ruin the whole apple cart !

Hope it all turns out ok for you.

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So sorry to hear your news. I can't believe someone would do that. She must have known the impact of her apathy. You WILL find your way back. I know you are disheartened, but don't let her get the satisfaction of keeping you down! Sending positive vibes your way.

 

I have said to my guys that if we don't get a good OFSTED we lose our funding and essentially the preschool will have to close. But staffing is an issue they will do the minimum but no more. They're not passionate and chat way too much. I'm looking for a part time member and of the six or so applications I've had only two so far are credible. I've had people applying who don't seem to have any child care qualifications or experience and that they would even apply worries me in itself!

 

Good luck!

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I am totally shocked and angry for you. But you know in your heart of hearts that you are trying really hard to provide quality care for the children, and the parents obviously value you too.

Let's hope your LA now provide you with the support you deserve and enable you to get back on track. Hugs Fx

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